Gauchos Can't Hold Big Lead, Fall at Oregon State 76-64

Eric Childress (Photo by Shane Roper)
Eric Childress (Photo by Shane Roper)

CORVALLIS, Ore. – UC Santa Barbara jumped out to a 26-10 lead in the first 11:05 on Tuesday night, but Oregon State battled back for a decisive 76-64 win in the final game of 2014 for both teams.

The Gauchos (5-7) were on fire early, making 10 of their first 14 shots. Gabe Vincent's three-point basket with 8:55 to play in the first half, his second in as many possessions, put his team up 26-10 before the Beavers (9-3) went to work.

OSU went on a 14-0 run as UCSB was scoreless for more than four minutes, cutting the gap to 26-24 on a basket and free throw by Langs Morris-Walker with 4:31 to play. 

A three by Michael Bryson and a lay-up by Mitch Brewe extended the advantage to 31-24 at the final media timeout of the half, but the Beavers closed the half on a 13-5 surge to take a 37-36 lead at the break.

"We flat-out stopped competing when we got the big lead," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "We had too many turnovers in the game, but especially in the first half. Most of the turnovers we had during that stretch were because we lost focus and got lazy and that's not acceptable."

The Gauchos saw OSU's lead balloon to 47-40 on a lay-up by Gary Payton II just over four minutes into the second half, but a 7-0 push that was capped when Eric Childress made a pair of free throws with 12:44 to play tied the score at 47.

The Beavers matched the 7-0 UCSB stretch to extend the edge to 54-47 on a free throw by Jarmal Reid with 7:54 left in the game. The Gauchos crept back within 57-52 on a Bryson three-pointer with 6:15 on the clock, but got no closer. 

OSU put the game away by outscoring Santa Barbara 8-2 to make the score 65-54 at the final media timeout and the Beavers cruised the rest of the way, making 9-of-11 free throws down the stretch to improve to 8-0 at home.

Bryson and Alan Williams each led UCSB with 16 points with Williams adding 12 rebounds for his 41st career double-double. Point guards Childress and Zalmico Harmon combined for 12 assists and just two turnovers while the rest of the team had four assists and 16 turnovers. OSU outscored the Gauchos in points off of turnovers, 27-11. 

UCSB will return home for its final two non-conference games, hosting Vermont on Friday, Jan. 2 in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome. Tickets for that, an all, Gaucho games can be purchased by clicking here.